Port Blair, Mar 13: Indian Coast Guard Ship Vaibhav returned Port Blair AM 13 Mar post completion of successful overseas deployment to Australia, Malaysia and Singapore. The ICG has Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with various Coast Guard Agencies of the world for cooperation on maritime safety, security and law enforcement issues. Institutionalised High-Level Meetings(HLM) and joint exercises along with operational level interaction are being undertaken with these agencies.
Nothing symbolises than the acts of cooperation and collaboration more than what the Coast Guards of Indian Ocean Region countries are doing together, having same aim, this three nation goodwill visit was planned. The larger aim was to enhance interaction between Indian Coast Guard and Maritime Law Enforcement agencies of other nations to identify areas of mutual interest while evolving working and professional relationship in the field of Maritime Search and Rescue, Anti Piracy, Armed Robbery, Pollution Response and other Law Enforcement aspects. The visit to these nations is at special significance and with a hope to lay down foundation for further cooperation.
The visit to Australia is demonstration of India’s “Act East” policy and strengthens ongoing maritime engagements with Australia. During the entire passage the ship undertook passage through Malacca strait, South China sea, Bali sea and Lombok Strait traversing total 6800 NM. The ship also took passage through Archipelagic waters of Indonesia ensuring right of innocent passage.
During visit to Singapore, Indian High Commissioner Jawed Ashraf highlighted and praised their efforts and ever ready spirit of Indian Coast Guard to keep the sea safe. Coast Guards of Indian Ocean Region learn a great deal from each other and share the best practices, they understand that when the time comes, and a call of duty summons them, they have the capacity and familiarity with each other to respond in a coordinated and cooperative manner to any distress in this region whether it is in term of national disaster or crime on sea or in terms of piracy, he underlined.
The visits are not only a way to enhance co-operation but also, gave an opportunity for joint training, exercises and professional exchange of Standard Operating Procedures with Maritime forces of these Nations. The ship showcased the capability of India and Indian Coast Guard in ensuring maritime safety and security and also the capability in undertaking sustained operations at sea. Such visits also give chance to young Officers and crew of ship to gain extended sea legs and broaden their horizon.